The Prevention of Sexual Harassment Policy Act, 2013 (POSH Act) was passed as a law to ensure the safety of every woman and create a healthy and productive workplace. Posh Act promotes women’s safety at the workplace and provides equal opportunities for women to work safely at their respective organizations. It improves employees productivity, the company’s financial growth and workers’ well being.
The POSH Policy is applicable to all employees working in an organization (an organization with more than 10 employees), including all female employees (as stated under the Act) of all age groups. Furthermore, the Policy intends to offer protection to its female workers at any location visited as a result of or during the course of her employment with the Company, including transportation supplied by the Company for such travel.
The purpose of this Policy is to safeguard female employees from sexual harassment. Sexual harassment encompasses any one or more of the following unpleasant behaviours or behaviour directed at women, namely:
- i) Physical touch; or
(ii) Demand for sexual favours; or
(iii) Making sexually tinged statements; or
(iv) Making sexually tinged remarks; or
What Is a Corporate Posh Policy?
A POSH Policy is a written document being used to educate workers and other staff on the POSH Act (The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace), 2013. The goal of this Policy is to provide every employee with a safe, secure, and enabling workplace that is free of sexual harassment.
All staff members and those associated with the business, which includes potential buyers, stakeholders, vendors, professionals, and others, are required by the POSH Policy. Furthermore, the Policy seeks to protect its female employees in any location visited as a result of or during her employment with the organisation, including transportation provided by the company.
A POSH Policy that specifies how a company’s workers and other employees should be aware of the POSH Act, 2013. This Policy’s purpose is to offer every woman with a healthy, comfortable, and empowering work environment that is free of sexual harassment. A POSH policy for a company is essential for ensuring that employees follow POSH standards and are treated with the utmost respect by the rest of the company’s employees.
Any firm with more than ten workers must have established an Internal Accusations Committee (“ICC”) to handle workplace sexual harassment complaints.
The POSH Policy applies to all employees of the organisation. Furthermore, the Policy aims to protect its female employees at any area they visit as a result of or during the course of the contract with the organisation, including transportation provided by the organisation. This Policy is a one-sided agreement produced by the organisation in accordance with the POSH Act, and workers will only have the option to sign and acknowledge it.
What Comes Under Sexual Harassment
SEXUAL HARASSMENT CAN INVOLVE ANY OF THE FOLLOWING POINTS:
- Sexual solicitations, requests, or demands for sexual favours in exchange for a job, promotion, or examination, either directly or tacitly.
- Eve taunting, unwanted offers to meet outside the workplace, provocative comments or jokes, physical detention against one’s will, and invasion of privacy
- When one’s behaviour in the workplace creates an environment that is challenging or uncomfortable for a person of the opposing sex.
- Any uninvited sexual gesture made by an employee.
- Physical contact and advances.
- Demand or request for sexual favours.
- Staring, leering or unwelcome touching.
- Suggestive comments or jokes.
- Showing pornography.
- Undesirable physical, verbal or non-verbal conduct of sexual nature.
Purpose Served by POSH Policy
The POSH Policy’s goal is to ensure a safe working environment for women in the company, including protection against those who come into touch with the women at the company. According to the policy, every employer must form an Internal Complaints Committee in compliance with Sexual Harassment Laws to address any sexual harassment complaint lodged by an aggrieved woman.
The Company must ensure that this Policy is implemented in its letter and spirit by preventing sexual harassment, properly reporting and resolving complaints, and following-up procedures, as well as promoting an environment that raises awareness among employees about sexual harassment in its various forms and sensitises employees to the various provisions provided under the Sexual Harassment Laws.
Benefits of Posh Policy
- Raising awareness among the company’s employees and other stakeholders.
- Making the workplace safer.
- Assist in improving staff morale, and the employees will feel more dedicated to the organisation.
- It gives employees the ability to file complaints regarding sexual harassment.
- Ensures the proceedings’ secrecy.
- Making the workplace safer and stress-free for employees.
- Examining malicious accusations and disciplinary action against such workers
- Ensure legal compliance and prevent legal conflicts and fines.
- Keeping the organization’s goodwill safe.
- The organization’s employee retention.
STEPS TO GETTING POSH AT WORK:
- Engaging with the harasser right away.
- Do not pretend it never happened.
- Inform the accused harasser right away that their behaviour is unacceptable.
- Demand that the harassment cease.
- Use a forceful tone and professional body language to back up your assertions.
- Trust your intuition when it comes to potential risk.
- Talk about it with a good friend or confidant.
- Report sexual harassment to Human Resources or the appropriate committee.
- Always maintain a professional demeanour.
A country’s prosperity and greater attempts to uphold the values of its constitution demonstrate its dedication to the fundamental rights of its inhabitants. The PoSH statute is one such example, especially considering its origins in the early 1990s. PoSH training should be a must for any organisation.
You must obtain PoSH training and certification from an internationally recognised training provider. This type of training may assist your organisation in overcoming sexual harassment and creating a healthy and tranquil working environment. Among the advantages are:
- Education and Training
- Certification that is recognised worldwide
Having a POSH policy in place for your company is critical for ensuring that staff follow POSH guidelines and are treated with decency and respect by other employees and members of the organisation. After establishing the POSH policy, you must undertake regular staff awareness and training programmes.
The formation of a committee does not absolve you of your responsibilities as an employer; you must guarantee that the committee is operating in line with POSH policy and other applicable organisational standards. You must also verify that the committee has the power and independence to conduct the inquiry and make sound conclusions.
Failure to comply with the POSH Act, 2013, will have a negative impact on the organisation, including difficult legal actions and excessive expenses. Mismanagement of sexual harassment charges will have a severe influence on your organization’s reputation and goodwill, as well as its long-term growth and development.
According to the POSH Act of 2013, if your organisation fails to adopt and comply to the Act, you may be punished and your licence may be permanently revoked.
As a result, it is preferable for your firm to comply with the POSH Act, 2013 and create a clear and effective POSH policy.
Prevention is always preferable to treatment!